REVIEW: Abated Mass of Flesh – Eternal Harvest [2017]

Artist: Abated Mass of Flesh 

Album: Eternal Harvest  


To live on earth is to be constantly drained of a will to exist. Every day, being alive steals just a little bit of you—chipping away at your body, mind and spirit. As you get older, you wither; your spine shrinking from every ounce of your essence robbed. You become less of yourself and more of a shell; a shambling, hollow, placeholder of a person. “ 

Earth is a farm for the spirits and skeletons of mankind—the place of an eternal harvest.  

This is the dreary reality that sinister deathcore outfit Abated Mass of Flesh confront the listener with on their latest effort, Eternal Harvest. While it stands as some of their bleakest and most abrasive material yet, it is also likely their best—an incredible compendium of crushing Christian deathcore that would fit seamlessly in the catalogue of an artist like the late 2000’s Impending Doom. Borrowing from brutal death metal, traditional deathcore and just a hint of slam, Eternal Harvest is masterfully produced and murderously heavy—an indelible experience for fans of anything relentless and absurdly aggressive.  

Old school deathcore has been making a contemporary comeback for nearly two long, agonizing years now—and with the release of Eternal Harvest, I feel as though it’s safe to say that the blast-beat laden, riff-driven, ultra-heavy style of deathcore so many fell in love with has returned. Abated Mass of Flesh bring relentlessness and power to every second of Eternal Harvest; and it starts with the work of percussionist Riley Wingate. Wingate dominates with hands that work at warp speed and feet that set his pedalboards practically ablaze. While he isn’t necessarily the most technically immense drummer that heavy music has ever been graced with, he doesn’t need to be. Take his work on “Violence,” for example—he adds flash and intensity to the song with dazzling fills and a punchy, strong foundation that dives into eerie, atmospheric portions as readily as it cracks through the earth’s crust with crushing force. “Premonitions of the Infected” sees Wingate working much more quickly, starting the album off with a blaze, blasting and hammering away in dialectic tandem with bassist Max Tubville. Tubville—who doesn’t steal the show—adds depth and girth to every second of Eternal Harvest, making it sound beefy and mean throughout. An integral role to Abated Mass of Flesh’s structure, he is the firmament from which guitarists Zack Plunkett and Thomas Wingate build from. Riffing and chugging away with everything from immense grooves, grisly breakdowns, bone-busting slams and ominous, looming portions of haunted, horrendous dread, Plunkett and Wingate’s fretwork is furious and diverse. “Violence,” again, displays this excellently—while “Caverns” and “Deathcrusher” add an even heavier end to the band’s dynamic than heard on the opening segment. Plunkett and Wingate are a force to be reckoned with, making Eternal Harvest eternally heavy.  

Songs like “The Longest Thorn” take Abated Mass of Flesh’s instrumental intensity and top it off with an absolutely stellar vocal performance. Frontman Matthew Plunkett is a powerhouse, with a range that captures the band’s contemporary slamming brutal death metal influence, as well as the shrill and sinister undertones from more traditional deathcore. “The Longest Thorn” sees barbaric slams serving as a foundation for Plunkett’s powerful lower register, while “Drowning Beneath” and even the introduction of “The Longest Thorn” highlight his piercing screams and shrill, nearly squealed range. Throughout Eternal Harvest, Plunkett keeps it up—taking a break for the instrumental salvos of slamming intensity—but picking it back up when it comes to the riff-driven ruthlessness of “Deathcrusher,” or the dynamic amalgam of heavy styles that define “Violence.” With lyrics that reflect the band’s religious inclinations while not failing to add a grim, grisly coat of heaviness, Plunkett fronts Abated Mass of Flesh in a fashion that simply obliterates his previous efforts. With loads of endurance, energy, power and putridity, Abated Mass of Flesh don’t just annihilate their last several albums on Eternal Harvest, they annihilate the efforts of much of their peers.  

Eternal Harvest is an absolutely excellent release that will make the listener choke on every sentence they’ve ever uttered regarding deathcore’s demise. Bouncy, brutal and loaded up with lacerating riffs and last-beats, Abated Mass of Flesh truly step things up this time around. Many of the band’s previous albums have been solid, but plagued by tedious or straight up bad production, emphasizing too much grit and not enough well-polished portions of punishment. Here, that changes—with just enough grit to hint at nostalgia, yet enough contemporary polish to make it go down smooth, Eternal Harvest is an eviscerating example of modern heavy music that enthusiasts of the genre will be blasting for an eternity to come.  



For Fans Of: Oceano, Dying Fetus, Consecrate, Impending Doom 

By: Connor Welsh